The following excerpt from http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Family%2 ... cument.pdf
seems to clarify the situation somewhat.
I would still be happy to hear of any other peoples experiences. Thanks.
19 Irish Citizen Children– Applications for Parental Migration
19.1 The normal situation in respect of a family reunification application is
where one person with “tenure” (either as a citizen or resident) seeks to
sponsor a family member. However there will be cases where a parent
seeks residence in Ireland on the basis of their citizen (minor) child. In
these circumstances the child cannot be said to sponsor the parent.
The basis of the application in such cases is that the parent’s presence
and residence in Ireland is necessary for the financial and emotional
support of the child. Such cases do not fall strictly into the category of
family reunification or settlement. However, for completeness it is
necessary to make reference to them in this document.
19.2 Clearly not all cases are the same and each has to be looked at in the
light of the factual circumstances. In addition to the family rights under
the European Convention on Human Rights and the Irish Constitution,
certain rights are also held by the Court of Justice of the European
Union (CJEU) to attach to EU citizens. The Court’s judgement in the
Zambrano case, as refined in subsequent cases21, provided for a
derived right of residence for the parents of the EU citizen child where
the child would otherwise lose the useful effect of its EU citizenship by
being forced, as a minor, to leave the Union with its parents. While in
reality the application of the Zambrano judgement is more limited and
dependent on circumstances than is sometimes appreciated, it is
nevertheless a key consideration in any case to be assessed.
19.3 In many cases involving an Irish citizen child no “Zambrano issues” arise
because the child is not at risk of removal (essentially constructive
deportation) from the country, for instance where one of the parents is
an Irish national or some other person whose right to reside is not in
question. However, and while it is not possible to be prescriptive in
21 Eg McCarthy V Secretary of State (C-439/09) Dereci & Others (C-156/11),
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advance of the circumstances of the case being considered, it is
intended as a matter of general policy, to grant immigration permission
where the parent can demonstrate an active and continuous
involvement in the child’s life, providing real emotional and/or financial
support. Account would of course have to be taken of any issues
relating to the conduct (including criminality, domestic violence etc.) of
the applicant. In addition, the factors set out in Section 6 of this
document would also be relevant to any determination.
19.4 Where the child is Irish born but not entitled to citizenship the provisions
of EU law as arising in Zambrano and later cases do not apply and the
adult cannot base an application for residence on the birthplace of the
19.5 A particular class of case that could arise is where a family residing
abroad (most likely in the country of birth of most of its members)
contains one minor child who is an Irish citizen. Clearly the Irish citizen
child has a right to reside in the State. The parents do not and cannot
claim personal rights of residence merely by dint of parentage. It is the
child’s rights that are in question and the residence of the parents is
considered with reference to the contribution their presence in the
State would contribute to the child’s enjoyment of its rights as a citizen.
The nature of the application therefore in this case would be for the
admission to Ireland of one or more parent in the company of their
minor child (or older child who suffers from a mental of physical disability
that renders independent living impossible).
19.6 It must be taken that, in order to exercise his or her right to reside in the
State, the child must be in the care of a responsible adult but this of itself
does not necessarily dictate the outcome of any decision on the
immigration application of the parents or indeed those of siblings. Each
case needs to be looked at on its merits taking into account the family
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situation and the composition of the family unit. In some cases there
may be an ongoing cohabiting relationship between the parents taking
joint care of the child. In other instances the family unit could be based
on one parent, with the child’s other parent estranged or in a new
relationship. It might also be observed that a series of linked
applications, seeking to bring to Ireland both parents and all siblings, on
the basis of the citizenship of a single minor would seem to go beyond
what is reasonable, particularly if the State would be required to provide
financial support for the family.